The World of Orsus
Tolgar is a continent that was once the center of the world. It was unified by King Tolgar several thousand years before the Dragon Wars. Back then, all races existed on Tolgar except the Gnomes. Over time, each race divided and went on its way.
Today it is largely dominated by Humans with a larger region of Halflings in the southeast. There is a prevalence of civilized Orcs in the West, and a few clans of Dwarves in the North. Elves are extremely rare, most of them being merchants and visitors. There are still a few Gnomes near Maisonet River, but most of them have gone to Cacthal. It is also said that there are Giants in The Northern Valleys
There are still a few spattered tribes of Goblinoids and other “barbaric” races scattered around, but they have largely been eradicated.
In the Tolgarian Calendar, each month represents 28 days, with 13 months to a year. The new year is not part of any month, and is called the Day of the Lost, and is recognized in the deepest night of winter (The solstice). The day is spent in mourning for those who have been lost in the past year, and the night is spent in celebration for life yet to come.
It varies, but most of this continent can be compared to the UK. Giant swaths of forest and wide valleys with tall mountains in the north. There is an arid desert region to the west, but rumor has it that it was created after great dragons battled and left the land baron.
Tolgar is ruled by a traditional Monarchy. The royal family has changed many times over the centuries, and the country falls into chaos when there is no one on the throne. Various regions are overseen by Marquis, and cities within those regions are run by Barons. Marquis and Barons will occasionally disagree, and disagreements are not always peaceful. The region called The Barons is different from the others, in that is collectively did not want a Marquis – they are all independently governed Baronies, paying their taxes directly to the king. All titles are inherited just as the kingship, but titles can be bestowed and taken away by the king. A Marquis can request the removal of a Baron.
For centuries the primary faith was of the Greyhawk (or traditional D&D) Pantheon. About a thousand years BDW, three mortal brothers from Tolgar who were strong in spirit and devout in their piety, petitioned the gods for immortality. Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon Grekkous became the first of the Greek Pantheon. Since then, it is believed that more mortals have obtained godhood, some of them as “children” of those Gods before them.
Culminating the end of the Dragon Wars, Vocanilaris appeared as an old and yet new Goddess of Dragons. Few humans worship her in Tolgar, but she is known of to most scholars.
The Greyhawk pantheon is dominant in the East, and the Greek Pantheon is dominant in the west. Gods and Temples occasionally bicker and disagree.
Economy, coinage, and trade
All coins up until the Dragon Wars were stamped with the symbol of Tolgar. Occasionally an arrogant or insecure king would place his personal house symbol or a relief of his face upon one side, but those coins are usually melted down by future mints and re-stamped with the symbol on both sides once again.
Electrum is a metal not recognized in most smaller cities, and money exchanges in larger cities will try to swindle you out of the full value. It is mostly the Elven Kingdoms who still mint Electrum. Occasional Mithril coins come into circulation from other races, but when a mint gets them they are largely melted down and put into “better” use.
The Great North Road is a major trading route and was first carved out before the Dragon Wars. It wasn’t until several hundred years ADW that the initiative began to pave the road. Paving began at Wildtop then ended at the marsh when the area was deemed too unstable for any long-term stonework.
The Maisonet River is more of a large fresh-water gap, as it takes a ferry over eight hours to cross at its thinnest point, and up to fifteen at its widest point. Ships regularly row north and follow the tides back south to trade along its shores.